Maputo — Mozambique's National Elections Commission (CNE) has received lists of parliamentary candidates for the October general elections from 26 political parties.
The CNE, operating out of Maputo's Joaquim Chissano Conference Centre, closed its doors promptly at 15.30 on Thursday. Nomination papers from parties who arrived after 15.30 were not accepted.
The three main parties all delivered the documentation for their candidates well within the deadline. They are the ruling Frelimo Party, the former rebel movement Renamo, and the Mozambique Democratic Movement (MDM). They are standing candidates in all 11 provincial constituencies and for the two seats allocated for Mozambicans living in the diaspora.
Most of the other 23 parties are only standing in some of the constituencies. They are:
1. PARENA (National Reconciliation Party), Won 0.1 per cent of the vote in 2014.
2. PARESO (Social Renewal Party). Won 0.13 per cent of the vote in 2014.
3. MPD (Patriotic Movement for Democracy). Won 0.1 per cent of the vote in 2014.
4. PPPM (People's Party for the Progress of Mozambique). This entered parliament as one of the constituent parts of the Renamo-Electoral Union coalition in 1999, but lost its seats when Renamo dissolved the coalition a decade later. It stood in the 2014 election and won 0.05 per cent of the vote.
5. PUR (Party for Union and Reconciliation). Won 0.2 per cent of the vote in 2014.
6. PEMO (Ecological Party of Mozambique). Newly formed.
7. MJRD (Youth Movement for the Restoration of Democracy). Won 0.19 per cent of the vote in 2014.
8. PVM (Green Party of Mozambique). Won 0.16 per cent of the vote in 2014.
9. MONARUMO (National Movement for the Recovery of the Unity of Mozambique). Won 0.16 per cent of the vote in 2014.
10. PASOMO (Social Broadening Party of Mozambique). Won 0.23 per cent of the vote in 2014. Its founder, Francisco Campira, joined Renamo, and is currently a Renamo parliamentary deputy.
11. AMUSI (Action of the United Movement for All-round Salvation). Formed in Nampula by dissidents from the MDM. Its leader, Mario Albino, ran unsuccesfully for Mayor of Nampula in 2018, winning 4.2 per cent of the vote. He is a candidate for this year's presidential election.
12. PLD (Party for Freedom and Democracy). Won 0.1 per cent of the vote in 2014.
13. PJDM (Democratic Justice Party of Mozambique). Previously unknown.
14. PANAOC (National Party of Workers and Peasants). Won 0.09 per cent of the vote in 2014.
15. UE (Electoral Union) coalition. Won 0.1 per cent of the vote in 2014.
At 15.30 there were still eight parties in the queue, waiting for CNE members to look at their paperwork. They arrived before the doors closed, and so they are likely to be accepted. They are:
16. PEC-MT (Ecological Party - Land Movement). Won 0.15 per cent of the vote in 2014. Nobody knows why there are three competing Green parties in Mozambique 17. UM (Union for Change). Won 0.06 per cent of the vote in 2014 18. PANAMO (National Party of Mozambique). Did not stand in 2014.
19. UDM (Union of Mozambican Democrats). Did not stand in 2014.
20. PT (Labour Party). Despite the name, it has nothing to do with the Mozambican labour movement. Its distinctive policy is a call to bring back capital punishment. Won 0.07 per cent of the vote in 2014.
21. Nova Democracia (New Democracy - ND). A new party, founded by Salomao Muchanga, the former chairperson of the Youth Parliament, which has played a dynamic role in various civil society initiatives.
22. UD (Democratic Union) coalition. Originally a three party coalition, it won nine seats in the first multi-party elections in 1994, due exclusively to its position on the ballot paper (it was at the bottom of the paper, which was also the position of Frelimo candidate Joaquim Chissano, on the presidential ballot paper. So many illiterate Frelimo supporters voted for the UD by mistake). The UD lost all its seats in 1999. It reformed in 2013, consisting of two parties - PALMO (Liberal Party of Mozambique) and PANADE (National Democratic Party). Did not stand in 2014 23. PODEMOS (Party of Optimists for the Development of Mozambique). Formed by members of the civil society organisation AJUDEM (Youth Association for the Development of Mozambique), which attempted, unsuccessfully, to run Samora Machel Junior ("Samito"), son of the country's first president, Samora Machel, for Mayor of Maputo in last year's municipal elections.
Acceptance by the CNE at this stage does not guarantee that the names of these parties will be on the ballot paper. The CNE must examine the nomination papers of every candidate to check that they are eligible.